Low Magnetic Signature Expendable Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
Navy SBIR 2014.1 - Topic N141-014
NAVAIR - Ms. Donna Moore - [email protected]
Opens: Dec 20, 2013 - Closes: Jan 22, 2014

N141-014 TITLE: Low Magnetic Signature Expendable Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)



RESTRICTION ON PERFORMANCE BY FOREIGN CITIZENS (i.e., those holding non-U.S. Passports): This topic is "ITAR Restricted". The information and materials provided pursuant to or resulting from this topic are restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120 - 130, which control the export of defense-related material and services, including the export of sensitive technical data. Foreign Citizens may perform work under an award resulting from this topic only if they hold the "Permanent Resident Card", or are designated as "Protected Individuals" as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). If a proposal for this topic contains participation by a foreign citizen who is not in one of the above two categories, the proposal will be rejected.

OBJECTIVE: Develop a low magnetic signature, expendable Tier 1 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) that can be launched from a P-8A or similar military aircraft via the sonobuoy launch system from high altitude, with the capability to carry a sensitive scalar magnetometer for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Magnetic Anomaly Detection (MAD) with the requirement that the inherent UAV magnetic noise shall not limit the effectiveness of the MAD sensor.

DESCRIPTION: With the introduction of the P-8A Poseidon into the fleet, the ASW Concepts of Operations (CONOPS) is shifting from the low altitude search and track as was done by the P-3C to a High Altitude ASW (HAAWS) mission where the P-8A remains at altitude for the ASW mission from initial detection through the attack phase. As such, there is a need to localize and maintain track of the submerged submarine while the mission aircraft prepares to drop a weapon and provide updated targeting information to the weapon as it descends to the splash point. Previously, the precise localization was done by the P-3C use of an inboard MAD system which required the aircraft to fly at 300-500 foot altitude.

ONR and NAVAIR are developing the concept of a MAD equipped UAV that can be launched from aircraft at high altitude which would then autonomously localize and track the submerged submarine and continue tracking the target after weapon release for possible re-attack. There were previous developments of sono-launched UAVs, but neither was initially designed to be magnetically quiet. Preliminary magnetic profiling of these UAVs indicates that they will require major redesign in order for the MAD system to be effective, assuming the re-design is even doable and effective.

A UAV designed to be magnetically quiet from the beginning and still be capable of sono-launch from high altitude in the final version is desired. Innovative research and techniques are needed to quiet a small UAV that will have known magnetic interference sources such as motors, servos and avionics and minimally use any magnetic or conductive material in the fuselage, wings, controls, control surfaces, structural components, etc.

There has been very little if any development to integrate a magnetometer sensor in a UAV because of issues of magnetometer availability and the problem of reducing the inherent platform noise in such a small platform. The concept of a small MAD equipped UAV can only be realizable now with the advent of suitable low-cost Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) magnetometers currently in development. New high strength composite materials will be a benefit to the design of the structure, but there are many electro-magnetic interference issues will need to be dealt with.

Additionally since the MAD sensor is "blind" to the type of magnetic target it detects, a basic camera will be required in the prototype to distinguish a MAD contact as a surface or subsurface contact. The objective would be an EO/IR turret system in the final system which would provide additional capability to the warfighter.

The objectives of this development are:

UAV: Speed: 70 kts Air Speed (Threshold)
Endurance: 70 minutes (Threshold)
Packaging: LAU-126A Sonobuoy Launch Container (SLC) or equivalent
Launch Envelope: Full Sonobuoy production specification.
Weight: Max 39 lbs (includes SLC)
Autonomy: Threshold: Fly pre-programmed waypoint tracks and orbits. Objective: Transition to target tracking as cued by MAD system
MAD in-air noise level: Threshold: 50 pT/rtHz in 0.015 to 10 Hz band. Objective: 10 pT/rt Hz in 0.015 to 10 Hz band.
Noise level verification: Threshold: This can be demonstrated by combining the ground based magnetic measurements from a "Rock and Roll table" with Roll, Pitch, Yaw (RPY) and translational motion flight characteristics obtained from one or more flights instrumented with IMU and GPS. Navy will assist in defining the standard test profile during the Phase II. Objective: Demonstrate in-flight performance with an integrated magnetometer system in a low environmental noise area.
Noise Compensation Processing: Threshold: Post processing of Rock & Roll table results projected onto in-flight RPY and buffet behavior to obtain the expected magnetic noise. (Include UAV inherent noise and noise due to UAV buffeting in the Earth�s field gradient. Geology and Geomagnetic noise compensation need not be included). Objective: Real-Time processing of noise compensation in the UAV with an integrated magnetometer system. (Geomagnetic noise compensation is not required since this would require a separate reference sensor. Geology noise compensation not required.)
MAD Detection: Threshold: Demonstrate that noise compensation/reduction processing does not reduce or distort target signal. Objective: Real-time auto-detection in the UAV and demonstrate Probability of Detection and False Alarm statistics. Navy will define the target signal during Phase II.
Other Sensors: Threshold: Visible camera. Low resolution/low rate. Objective: EO/IR turret Ground Control Station: Phase I and II: Any Phase III: UAS Control Segment (UCS) Architecture.
Cost: In final form, <$5000 in quantities of 100.

PHASE I: Develop a concept for a MAD UAV that will meet the above requirements. The concept should provide detailed information on the material selection, the component selection including motor, servos, magnetometer and any associated ancillary sensor required for noise compensation and avionic components including autopilot, navigation, data links, etc. and an estimate of the magnetic effect of these components on the magnetometer. The concept should include description of any algorithms or techniques used to compensate the UAV noise. External environmental noise reduction such as geomagnetic or geologic noise need not be considered. Provide speed/endurance tradeoff if cannot meet the objectives. Also since cost is a major driver, provide a projected cost in quantities of 100.

PHASE II: Build prototype UAV system(s) and demonstrate it meets the above requirements, primarily the in air noise performance. The prototype at this stage need not be launched from the air via Cartridge Activated Device (CAD) or pneumatic sono-launch but should demonstrate the UAV can unfold and transition into stable flight. The prototype MAD performance can be demonstrated using on-ground motion data and project the in-air noise performance (threshold) through a fully integrated MAD system including noise compensation flight test (objective).

PHASE III: Complete required testing and certification for airworthiness and transition technology to the appropriate program of record.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: An expendable UAV that could be launched from the air that includes a MAD sensor and EO/IR system can be used for remote geologic surveys, underground pipeline tracking in remote or hazardous areas not readily accessible by ground vehicles or near suitable UAV runways.

1. Tolles, W.E. and J.D. Lawson (1950). Magnetic compensation of MAD equipped aircraft, Airborne Instruments Lab, INC., Mineola, N.Y. Rep.201-1, June

2. Leliak, P. (1961). Identification and evaluation of magnetic field sources of magnetic airborne detector equipped aircraft. IRE Trans. Aerospace Nav. Elecr.,8, 95-105

3. Leliak, P. (1961). Identification and evaluation of magnetic field sources of magnetic airborne detector equipped aircraft. IRE Trans. Aerospace Nav. Elecr.,8, 95-105

4. Nelson, J. B. (2002). Predicting In-Flight MAD Noise From Ground Measurements. Defence R&D Canada DREA Technical Memorandum TM 2001-112, 26pp.

5. ASH, A.D. (1997). Noise and noise reduction techniques for airborne magnetic measurements at sea: International Conference on Marine Electromagnetics, UK, MARELEC

KEYWORDS: Uav; Magnetic Anomaly Detection; Magnetometer; Asw; Autonomy; Magnetic Compensation

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